VILLUPURAM: This class XII girl from Irula tribe in Villupuram sat through an entire night drawing her family tree with the help of her grandmother hoping to get a community certificate, to pursue higher education. M Dhanalakshmi from Vaanur taluk passed class XII with 59 per cent marks. However, she lacks a community certificate to join college. So, her demand, for the third time, has been submitted with about 14 evidences proving her ethnicity as an Irula.
“I had given a petition seeking a community certificate to the revenue divisional officer twice, in 2016 and 2020. But, I was not successful. I pursued school despite issues raised by teachers. Now, it is time I got a certificate to avail myself of scholarship in college as my family is unable to afford my higher education expenses,” said Dhanalakshmi.
Her father K Muniyandi said the family had approached MLA Chakarapani seeking to help more students from their community to get community certificates. “The MLA forwarded a letter to the officials, but our children are yet to get the certificates.” So, a frustrated Dhanalakshmi planned to write a petition attaching not one but 14 pieces of evidence proving her to be a member of Irula community.
She said that she sat along with her grandmother to know about the ancestral lineage to draw the family tree. “That includes my ration card, Aadhaar card, class X mark sheet, a copy of earlier petitions to the RDO, photocopies of community certificates provided by the officials to 10 of my relatives. If this is insufficient to get me a certificate, I don’t know what is.”
Speaking to Express, Irular tribal activist Piraba Kalvimani said, “It is a growing issue with the community as more and more students are pursuing regular education, unlike their elders who were systemically prevented from getting educated.” Collector A Annadurai said that he will soon help Dhanalakshmi and, after inquiry, community certificates will be issued for other students.